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This Instant Pot Fettuccine Alfredo is the easiest cheesiest one pot dinner. It takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish and requires minimal effort. It has the most luscious sauce, has no heavy cream, and is loaded with garlic and shallot. You can easily add a protein on top or serve as is.
Fettuccine alfredo is my husband’s go-to pasta order. It is one of my favorites too. What is your favorite pasta to make or order at an Italian restaurant? I love a good vodka sauce.
Even though I have made fettuccine alfredo a good amount of times, I would not say until recently I mastered my recipe.
I do not like to use heavy cream as the base for the alfredo because I find it to be too heavy. So I wanted to create a rich sauce with half and half instead.
The instant pot was the answer. By pressure cooking the pasta and sauce together, the sauce thickens perfectly due to the pasta starches. No need for cream!
The richness of the half and half and cheese pairs nicely with the acidity from the garlic, lemon, and shallot. This Instant Pot fettuccine alfredo is really the best comfort food! Hope you enjoy!!xx
- Creamy and rich without heavy cream or flour
- Two kinds of cheese, cream cheese & parmesan
- Easy one pot 20 minute dinner
- Kid friendly
- Full of flavor from fresh garlic, shallot, & lemon
- “Dump and go” instant pot recipe
- Chicken Stock: Swap for an equal amount of vegetable broth. I do not recommend using water.
- Fettuccine: I know it is a sin to break pasta, but we have to make an exception. Try to break the fettuccine into even pieces. This is the only way for it to fit and be fully covered in liquid in the pot. See the variations section below about using different pasta shapes.
- Cream Cheese: Cut the cream cheese up first and let it sit out while you prepare the other ingredients and cook the pasta.
Helpful Equipment & Tools
- Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker: I highly recommend opting for the 8 quart pot for larger pieces of meat or if you are cooking for a family.
- Silicone Nonstick Mixing Spoons: These are heat resistant and great for sautéing.
- OXO Good Grips Box Grater: I love this grater because it has a container on the bottom that catches the cheese.
- Brown the garlic and shallots.
- Add the pasta and liquid to the pot & pressure cook on high.
- Stir in the cheese, lemon juice, and pepper.
Step by Step
Step 1: Select the “Sauté” mode on the Instant Pot. Add the butter, shallot, and garlic to the pot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to brown.
Step 2: Deglaze the pot with the chicken broth, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
Step 3: Add the half and half, salt, and fettuccine. Be sure the pasta is submerged.
Step 4: Select “Pressure Cook” and “High Pressure” and set the timer for 4 minutes. Quick release immediately after the timer goes off.
Step 5: Select the “Keep Warm” mode on the Instant Pot. Stir in the cream cheese, parmesan, lemon juice, and cracked pepper until the cheese is melted. Turn the pot off so the pasta does not continue to cook and serve immediately.
Make Ahead & Storage
- Refrigerator: Store leftover Instant Pot fettuccine alfredo in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. It will thicken when stored so add a splash of broth to thin out the sauce if needed when reheating.
- Freezer: I do not recommend freezing leftovers. The sauce will not have the correct texture when reheated and the pasta will be overcooked.
- Reheating: Reheat leftovers in the microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring in between. You can also reheat them on the stove covered on medium low. Add broth as needed.
- Brown the garlic and shallot. Browning these in the butter before pressure cooking adds so much flavor to the sauce.
- Use broth or stock. I do not recommend substituting the stock for water. The sauce will lose a lot of flavor.
- Use room temperature cream cheese. Letting the cream cheese sit out at room temperature helps it melt seamlessly into the sauce.
- Stir continuously. After adding the cheese, be sure to stir continuously so that the pasta does not stick.
- You might notice some clumps after pressure cooking. You can see in the process shot above (right after you remove the lid), there are some clumps in the sauce. This is totally fine and does not affect the taste of the texture of the sauce. Just be sure to give the sauce a good stir. After adding the cheeses, these will go away.
- The pasta may stick together. When making this with fettuccine specifically, I noticed some of the pasta stuck together. Stirring the pasta continuously after adding the cheese helps. You can also avoid this by using a short cut pasta.
- This recipe can be doubled. 8 ounces is half of a standard box of pasta. Double the recipe if you would like to use the whole box/package.
- Swap the pasta shape: I have tested this recipe with penne and it takes 5 minutes on high pressure. The general rule for cooking pasta in the instant pot is to divide the shortest cook time on the package and subtract 1 minute for a softer pasta or subtract 2 minutes for very al dente pasta.
- Brown butter Instant Pot fettuccine alfredo: Use 2 Tablespoons of butter instead of 1. Brown the butter in the Instant Pot on “Sauté” before adding the garlic and shallot. Once the butter begins to brown, add in the garlic and shallot. Follow the rest of the recipe as written below.
- Add a protein: Serve this pasta with grilled shrimp or chicken on top. You can also shred rotisserie chicken and stir it in at the end. Raw chicken will not cook in 4 minutes so be sure to use cooked.
Instant Pot Fettuccine Alfredo
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, diced finely
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock*
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces fettuccine, broken in half*
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into large pieces, room temperature
- ½ lemon, juiced
- fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
- Select the “Sauté” mode on the Instant Pot. Add the butter, shallot, and garlic to the pot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to brown.
- Deglaze the pot with the chicken broth, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Add the half and half, salt, and fettuccine. Be sure the pasta is submerged.
- Select “Pressure Cook” and “High Pressure” and set the timer for 4 minutes. Quick release immediately after the timer goes off.
- Select the “Keep Warm” mode on the Instant Pot. Stir in the cream cheese, parmesan, lemon juice, and cracked pepper until the cheese is melted. Turn the pot off so the pasta does not continue to cook and serve immediately.